Thief seeks parole, drug treatment

GUAM PAROLE BOARD: The Guam Parole Board meets Thursday in Hagåtña to hear a request for parole from convicted thief Thomas Demepan. From left are Stephen Guerrero, member; MiChelle Hope Taitano, chairwoman; and Thomas L. Van Engen, member. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

Thomas S. Demapan, 58, has spent more than half of his life in and out of prison for a variety of crimes.

He has spent the past couple of years locked up at the Department of Corrections after having been convicted of two separate charges of theft. He appeared before the Guam Parole Board via video conference during his hearing Thursday to seek parole.

His biggest problem, he admitted during the hearing to parole board members, was his drug addiction.

"It's been a long, long time that I have been hiding secrets, hiding the lies that should have been all the truth about my life. I've hidden so many things I shouldn't have done," Demapan said. "I am very, very sorry about why it took me this long – going on 59 years now – to really face the truth."

Demapan added, "Please, I am asking the moment that if you approve me I would go to the treatment center. I know that if I never change I would keep coming back again, and I don't want that no more."

Parole board Chairwoman MiChelle Hope Taitano acknowledged the thief's statement.

"I want to applaud you because if you are honest and your word is good ... at least you figured it out and you want to change," she said.

Board members share concerns

Taitano and board members Thomas L. Van Engen and Stephen Guerrero shared concerns they had if they did grant him parole, as his record shows he violated the conditions of his parole in 2009 for a separate burglary conviction.

Demapan said he would follow all parole conditions this time and that he has changed since his 2016 arrest.

"I shouldn't have done what I did. It is wrong, big-time," he said. "This is my last chance out there and I want to do it right."

Taitano told Demapan a parole officer would inform him of their decision, which will be announced at a later date.